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An electrolaser is a type of electroshock weapon which is also a directed-energy weapon. It uses lasers to form an electrically conductive Laser-Induced Plasma Channel (LIPC). A fraction of a second later, a powerful electric current is sent down this plasma channel and delivered to the target, thus functioning overall as a large-scale, high energy, long-distance version of the Taser electroshock gun.
Alternating current is sent through a series of step-up transformers, increasing the voltage and decreasing the current. The final voltage may be between 108 and 109 volts. This current is fed into the laser beam.
Laser-Induced Plasma Channel
A Laser-Induced Plasma Channel (LIPC) is formed by the following process:
Because a Laser-Induced Plasma Channel relies on the atmospheric blooming effect, there must be air or some other gas between the electrolaser weapon and the target: it will not work in space vacuum; but in space this lack of blooming lets laser beam travel uninhibited and act as a weapon if powerful enough.
Methods of use:
Because of the plasma channel, an electrolaser may cause an accident if there is a thunderstorm (or other electricity sources such as overhead powerlines) about.
See Electroshock gun for more information (principles of operation, controversies, etc).
Examples of electrolasers
Publicly traded company Ionatron develops directed-energy weapons for the United States Military The company has produced a device called the Joint IED Neutralizer (JIN) which may presently be undergoing field testing in Iraq. The JIN is intended for safely detonating IEDs or improvised explosive devices. Future designs include weapons mounted on land and air and sea vehicles and as a hand-held infantry version.
Ionatron said that the weapons will be able to be used as a non-lethal alternative to current weaponry, but will be able to deliver a high enough voltage jolt to kill.
There was an unconfirmed report that in 1985 the U.S. Navy tested an electrolaser. Its targets were missiles and aircraft. This device was known as the Phoenix project within the Strategic Defense Initiative research program. It was first proved by experiment at long range in 1985. But this report may have referred to an early test of MIRACL, which is or was a high-powered chemical laser.
Peter Anthony Schlesinger's project
See this link for USA experiments with what was probably an electrolaser. Anthony's company is HSV Technologies... at a now defunct website http://hsvt.org ... see, also: WIRED news article
The new project StunStrike is probably an electrolaser.
Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems
Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems in Anderson, Indiana is developing a series of rifle-sized and artillery-sized electrolasers for the U.S. Marines. See XADS.
HSV Technologies of San Diego, California http://www.hsvt.org are designing a non-lethal device which was profiled in the 2002 TIME magazine article “Beyond the Rubber Bullet”. It is an electrolaser using ultraviolet laser beams, and promises to immobilize living targets at a distance without contact. There is plan for an engine-disabling variation for use against the electronic ignitions of cars.
Electrolasers, or unnamed effects that could be explained as electrolasers, often occur in science fiction and videogames, such as:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Electrolaser". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|